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Make Your To-Do List

Lesson 13 from: Embrace the Ugly: How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back in Business

Kim Werker

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Lesson Info

13. Make Your To-Do List

Lesson Info

Make Your To-Do List

So we're going to make it to do list this is this is where wear ramping down into the end, but this is not a to do list of buy milk eggs figure this stuff out and, you know, make sure you go to bed at nine o'clock on a full stomach of healthy food on day eight glasses of water a day, this is the list of like, ok, you have identified you've identified the thing, you know what it is you've named it you've gotten in touch with this voice, the back of your head, you've gotten in touch with what you are choosing to believe and how you're allowing those choices to effect your business, how you define your business, what you do with your business, what you going to do tomorrow morning that will help you move this block what's the first thing you're going to dio start with one thing it could be I'm going to sit down with my partner and let him know that I'm terrified of this just so he knows that I'm not being cavalier in my insistence that we do this, I want to let him know that there's a vul...

nerability here it could be I'm going to take a photograph of my messy studio and show it online so that I no longer feel like I'm a fraud for working, making beautiful images from a messy studio those are very different things one thing that you're going to do tomorrow that addresses this obstacle just one write it down and then what are you going to do, what's the next thing there's going to be a next thing? Think about a person that could be involved with this next thing is it somebody whose help you're going to enlist? Is it someone who's opinion you're going to ask for? Is it someone you're going to hire to do something in your business? When I teach this class at business conferences, we inevitably end up talking about things that you may or may not have been thinking about we haven't touched upon it today, which has surprised me, but let me know if things that you've been thinking about in not saying have involved things like I'm terrible at marketing my product it's not that I'm feeling blocked about showing my product to the world. I just really think I'm not good at connecting trina talked a lot about feeling really confident in marketing, but a lot of us don't feel confident in marketing and so my question is can you work with someone? Can you do a trade? Do you have a skill that a non competing fellow creative professional has? Well, I just lost my sentence that I don't even know how to finish the sentence can you do a trade with somebody somebody who's a great photographer can you take photographs of your friends craft that they sell in exchange for them keeping your books or setting up a bookkeeping system for you? Can you hire someone to take your photographs? Can you ask a friend to proof? Read your block post if you're feeling on steady about the words you're using to convey stuff, can you hire somebody to set up an email newsletter for you? Because you find the technology to be daunting? Um, we're gonna call who you gonna call? My four year old is like ghostbusters, he has no idea what it is, but we've trained him to do that. But but that's, right? So one of the things that I hope has come through today as we've been talking online and often in here, is that all of us have a thing, and so asking for help is never a surprise to someone else it's only a surprise to us when that person is like kosher, right? We think people will judge us, we think that we're showing weakness and that we will be exposed as the fraud. We know we are deep down in our souls, but really what other people are like? Oh my gosh, um, so we're gonna call ghostbusters, I don't think about what you're going to do next week, right? This is not the problem that we're focusing on today is not the I'm just gonna hire bookie burn all my problems will go away this is the thing that like we've probably been living with this thing for a very, very, very long time so it's not just going to be solved by like calling up a friend going for a coffee arranging for trade and then you're done going to do next week about it are you going to shoot me an email kim I'm gonna let you know how things were going I promise I will read it are you going to call your mom tell her about what's going on today because you know that if anybody in the world that your mom who will call you the following week and ask you how it's going well you set up a mastermind group of other professionals who struggled with things that you can support each other in an ongoing basis will you rearrange your office so that you're feeling more confident about the space you're working in will you decide to work in a co working space because you need to get out of the house a little bit and it's worth the money to get that perspective in the space? I want you to think about what the goal is so we've been focusing about the obstacle we haven't really been looking beyond it so much what will it look like when it's chipped away at when you can step over it when you kicked it out of the way. What is that going to feel like in your business? What will you achieve by working through this? Not achieve necessarily in terms of a bottom line, I will double my profits. You know what? I will increase my revenue by certain x amount. But like what? What will it feel like? Because I think a lot of the things that we feel fear and shame about are things that make us feel unsuccessful no matter what our bottom line looks like, no matter what our line she's looked like, no matter what, no matter how many sales at a trade show, we d'oh that obstacle that fear that shame makes us always say, yeah, but right, but what do things look like if there isn't a? Yeah, but I want to talk about what some of those things are because that's what we do here, we share about what the things are and its possible impact quite likely that some of the things that you wrote down, or things that will be helpful to other people, but they just didn't think of it yet. And so this is this is the part of sharing that I think could potentially be it's really helpful as a collective group. Because one person's idea might just be something somebody else hadn't thought of yet and I think that's important to do we've we've come this far together already let's support each other through the end I'm going to start really spewing metaphors now I'm like wow it's like nearing the end of the day, I'm starting to rock back and forth and I was about to start talking about woven nets and straitjackets again and there's just no no need for that at all but what's something that you're going to do tomorrow morning tomorrow morning morning just goingto explore seattle so I'm not going to do much, but one thing that I'm going to do is to say no, I'm going to say no to something that I was asked to do and um I don't really feel like doing because if you don't have the time I have all other priorities but at the same time I think well but maybe now it's going to be good for me it's going to be good for them so I was inclined to say yes just because they asked me to do but I'm going to say no because because I don't want you I don't want to do it good for you that's great you're going to say no and I will chip away a little bit right sometimes we can define a path for ourselves not necessarily only in what we choose to do but what we choose not to d'oh it's, good it's, good following your gut feeling we didn't talk about gut feelings today, it's an important one, ok, what something else we're going to do tomorrow or effectively, like tomorrow, chip away, chip away at that thing. What I know what I notice from my to do list is it includes a lot of partnership. Um, the doing it all by myself was a rhythm and a pattern that's really familiar to me, and so my to do list includes lots of opportunities to reach out and ask for input, referrals, support and just, you know, even if nothing else is a chance to, you know, sounding board where I'm going and what I'm thinking, which gets out of your own it's gets it out of your own space. Yeah, yeah, yeah that's a great have you heard about so there's amanda palmer, his book the art of asking it's a great book, I have not finished reading it yet, she amanda palmer's, a musician just like a rock star, may or may not have heard of her music. I don't I'm not a huge fan of your music, but I have followed her online for ages because she does this incredible job of just including her fans in her work and in crowd sourcing and crowdfunding and she very notoriously raised a million dollars on kickstarter to produce an album and she has come under fire with every success that she has met she's come under fire you you brought a million dollars make this album but you and she ended up giving a ted talk I think a couple of years ago about the art of asking on dh how she you know, she started out even before she formed her band she was a living statue in harvard square. She dressed as a bride, stood on a milk crate, she had a hat out in front of her and she's really thoughtful. And in the beginning of her book she writes about that experience in the interactions that she had with people it so intimately without words and how those where she was asking for their support and she was giving them connection. And it was this really beautiful reciprocal thing. And in her ted talk she talks about specifically in in the arts that one there that it's it's it's hard to except the validity of the exchange sometimes that oh, I have created this art for you, and in exchange you will give me money there's that you know we're really comfortable saying, you will give me a haircut and I will give you money um you know you will you will write a book and I will give you money but we're not so comfortable saying you have made me happy you have made me think about something important you have made me feel loved I will give you money there isn't that on dh she has built her whole career on this and it's fascinating she's a wonderful writer and her book and the reason I haven't finished it yet is that I'm enjoying it too much and I'm relating into it so much that I'm just like reading it in small bursts but I really recommend it and I think that it comes from that place of like one you don't get when you don't ask but no matter how much my dad told me that my whole life growing up it was amanda palmer that made me really see that's true you know and like we need to hear things from different people but I like that that's something that you've identified this leg I'm in my own space here all the time I'm gonna I'm going to ask for help that might indicate to someone that I'm not a sit everything and that everything doesn't come out of me in this fully polished, beautifully formed form but I think it will be worth it for the connection that I make with that person and because I'm ready to identify that I actually think my product will be better with this person's input right that's a tremendous tremendous thing to do good lock unlock that works out first first I am just going to try and get rid of the insecurities about writing and just we already wrote out all the topic so I'm just going to take a topic and start and not worry about that so my colon just going right yeah you gonna show anyone are you gonna write just for you well I'm just gonna work on the book one that I talked to the publisher about show yeah we've over we're working on it we don't have the contract yet but they said they definitely want to and so but this is the scariest part because we haven't completely committed but both sides have said yes and then I'm just like oh my gosh what am I getting this into yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah that's a scary place to be so I just need to committee started and sign a contract awesome good luck exciting these are big first steps I was like you know I was thinking you know well tomorrow morning over my orange juice I'm going to make another list like this is great yeah first up ok I like it the little ones are as important I mean it I'm going to take a picture of something that I'm not finished with that isn't perfect and I'm going to share it on the internet I love this idea I love this idea I guarantee you the internet will sweep you up in a wave of support or silence but they will not they will not like telling that what's this I'm follow you for your yeah that's awesome that's really great that's a good first step yeah coming in at home laurie says tomorrow I will make something and I will not worry about whether it is good enough and I encourage you laurie too put that out there take a picture of it and put that out there on social media as well and kate though you says I need to do another block post about recent projects tomorrow and I think I'll show the ugly things that I've designed so people taking action right away I would like to know how she defines the ugly things she's designed does she think that they're ugly or does she consider them ugly because other people weren't popular or they actually never made it to the next step because you know they were like failed prototypes right? But that was that was it kate herself thought they were going or did she get that feedback coming out because that's different yeah totally right let us know kate one more we've got amy who says tomorrow morning I'm going to list just one item on etsy ho was being held back but if you just do one there started that is it it's like breaking the seal that's exciting don't talk about enough for sex great that's cool okay enough there's ah um one of the things that I have loved about the internet is is realizing that all of my weird ways of doing things were not totally uniquely weird and for a while right like I talk a lot about business and I work a lot with business people and I am not a detailed list maker so much I'm not like a super planning color coded charts and diagrams kind of person I kind of the beginning of the year when people are thinking about their business goals for the year what they want to achieve in a year I'm generally thinking about some kind of vague focus and that is how I work the best I worked the best without lots and lots and lots and lots of things and I know that that's kind of unusual but my theme for twenty fifteen is enough and I kept trying to think about you know for last year it was strength I started twenty fourteen realizing that that I had really hoped clod of my business but my son came around it was very less minute and I thought that I really navigated that change in life with grace and the plum and at the end of twenty thirteen realized actually no I was not doing a lot of work my income had taken and it's really serious knows that I had to get stuff together and so my theme for twenty fourteen was building strength I needed to feel like I was making decisions that made me stronger is a business person that made me sort of I wanted to firm up the foundation I was standing on and I feel like I did, which was a tremendous feeling and I ended twenty fourteen feeling much stronger than I started it on when I was thinking ahead there was not as clear thing because I wasn't staring down as distinct a problem at the end of twenty thirteen I had a problem, the problem wass things were not in good shape for me that was a really, really easy to see problem in what ways were they not in good shape for you? Kim? Well, my income wasn't that great I wasn't doing steady work that I enjoyed I wasn't sort of connecting with the like people that I felt like I needed to connect to I was feeling a bit adrift all of these things were wrong and so I set out the year to try to make those things feel better then I sort of did and I felt great and I started off twenty fifteen with more work, steadier work, more income all of that stuff was great was feeling very proud of myself and I was like, well what and enough was what kept coming to mind, not enough like you've done enough already like, but that can be an aspect of it. Part of enough is saying I've done enough of that, and I'm going to say no, but part of enough is security is having enough, it doesn't mean having abundance, it doesn't mean overflowing, it just means having enough having enough is a very safe place to be, and I liked the idea of that safety and the security of it, and I and I like the fact that enough came up in thinking about things, right, like a lot of were ingrained to believe as independent professionals, that the world rests on us and has a really terrifying place to be all the time for our business. We can't really avoid that. It's true, our business world rests on us, but the rest of the world is going to keep spinning even if we take a holiday, even if you know, whatever. And so I like to think about enough, and I wanted to raise it as a possibility that, you know when when we're staring into an abyss, when we're looking ahead to, like what is out, what I wanted to be one of my dreams and aspirations, we can lose sight of, like what would be enough, because enough is enough. Awful lot you know if we think about the scenarios that we wrote and I say we because almost everybody did everyone except the upper east side apartment wrote about um they're ugly creature having no good shelter right? I mean that's it that's like one of the first enough we need and are ugly voices those creatures the creatures that we made most of them didn't have that except the upper east side person but like write those creatures were living under overpasses they were living in caves where the caves were so dark we're just assuming there was no bed under them when they were sleeping we couldn't even see for sure right? So those air those creatures they're deprived right in ways that we are not which is quite lovely and wonderful for us but we are surrounded in the shiny glossy world with ideas about how we're going to be explosive and how we're going to own things and how we're going to be the kings and queens of the universe in but really like what's enough like who's the king and queen of you like nobody actually does that there is no person who does that what is enough for us and for any individual person enough might be like really dominating in something but for a lot of us enough is I know what I'm doing today and I know that what I do today will provide for myself for my family and I know that what I do today will help to provide for the fund and that I want to have the adventures I want to go on I think it's a really comforting thing to do and we don't talk a lot about that either we don't talk about ugliness and we don't talk about enough because we talk about shiny, beautiful things that are perfect and extraordinary but I think we could let ourselves off the hook a little bit as we move forward what you're going to dio in a month think ahead a month has passed you have done the thing that you're going to do tomorrow even though have said no, you're going to ask for help you're going to have moved you're going to have done these things a month from now having done those things what's but he's still doing what are you doing toe work through still a month from now or six months on our some big time in the future we don't have to be super specific about it so six months out, six months out six months yeah yeah so by that point hopefully then I have finished the book and then I have to deal with the vulnerability of putting out to people and then the fears of well maybe nobody's going to buy it so you know yeah, yeah yeah and do you think you'll be better in a better position to address those concerns having done the book to be in it yeah I think so yeah like the first step is important one right? You have you decided to do it you're committing to it and you'll deal with the consequences of that right the consequences being all right that didn't just solve everything there's going to be concern again that people will a judge that people will not like that people will whatever but I think that I think you will be in a stronger place for having done it you will know it so well when you're done with it and part of you might never want to look at it again but then you won't mind so much right? Like there's a there's a there's a nice kind of distance that can come with that but I like that I think you're right six months from now that might be exactly I hope that's how you're feeling and I feel like I need to put it in perspective it's just the whole deciding yes I'm going to do this and I'm going to put it out there and once out there is like well if nobody likes it it's not the world nobody chooses to buy it well it's good information that I have all in one place anyway so I have it for myself you know? How will I use it for me yeah that's good that's really good perspective have you will have done it regardless that's awesome and that's I think that's paying that first step it's due to just because it was the first step doesn't mean that everything else gets trampled on top of it right it means it's good yeah all right folks at home we have jan who says six months six months out at sea will be up and so will my website that's great yes that's great way we have modern vintage photographer says in a month from now I will have blocked I will have blogged a month engage the audience I will put up my images and learned the ceo for the audience and I will have something tio built on I love it so that is just in one month that will be a lot a lot of learning in one month but that's good that's good yeah I see lori says scheduled time for my creative pursuits make an appointment with myself too make things and assert myself as a professional maker and don't let my day job be my only job that is a huge for step that's starting something new for serious and for riel yeah, yeah that's what, six months? Yeah, yeah that's great oh, I like this one from art spirit this is a great idea says I will go over this workbook and notes again to see how far I've come and make a new list and see how my inner voice has changed. So that's, really cool. I dropped the mike, and I'm like that. It is a perfect

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Year of Making - E Book
Workshop Supply List
Embrace the Ugly Syllabus
Mighty Ugly Course Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I listened to the entire course. I think that Kim is very inspiring and that she uses stories effectively. I do think that she needs to have the audience wear name tags and use their names when she is talking to them. It helps me the viewer feel a connection with the studio audience. I made my ugly creature. I am a graphic/interior designer. I know that ugly items are needed at times to make things beautiful, so my creature actually looks cute to me. I wished that less time was used on the ugly creature discussions and more time getting to the core of what is holding us back. Designers are visual producers so our work is always under scrutiny, and it is good to see what other designers are fearing, but solutions is what I wanted to get to rather than trying to identify what is holding me back. I hope that future videos by Kim will address the solutions and use less of the ugly theme so as to work on gaining insight as to how to overcome negativity about growing our businesses.


Amazing course, so good that I had to purchase it for further referral. With thanks to Kim Werker and also to the facilitator.

Student Work